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Tow rig for boat input needed

  #1  
Old 12-17-2018, 11:48 PM
Joemannnnn
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Tow rig for boat input needed

Hey guys, looking for some tow rig input. I currently own a 2013 Eco boost FX4. This past summer I bought our first boat, a 23' center console. Towing with the current truck has been fine for the most part. The power is never an issue. You certainly know the boat is back there, but it pulls fine. The trailer has surge brakes and for the most part all is well. We're in Raleigh, NC and towing the boat to the local lake every weekend in the summer. We also tow to the coast, about 3 hrs, maybe once a month. This is when I'm most uncomfortable. It definitely is more of a handful at speed. Overall, it's a bit of a white knuckle experience on the highway. I've towed worse when renting campers in the past. They dragged me all over. The boat doesn't really do that, but she's back there and making it more spirited than I'd like. The fuel mileage is obviously not great, but that seems to be par for the course. It doesn't help I put a 1.5" level and KO2's on the truck. That was before I dreamed of owning a boat.

I've started to have the urge to update my truck to the newer body style and have been looking at lightly used 17 and 18 F150's. But I am still a bit nervous about the handling on the highway. Not sure if heavy duty payload or some added suspension is the answer.

I posted on a Ford forum and some members there and a few friends have suggested stepping up to a 250. This is not something I ever gave any thought to until recently. This truck is my daily driver, so the idea of a 250 scares me a bit. Although I know it will tow like a dream.

I think my biggest issue is payload and the boat squatting the truck. I took a trip to the local moving company to weigh my rig. Myself and a co-worker stayed in the truck to simulate some passenger capacity. Here were the results:
  • Trucks only with boat hooked up - 7,060lbs
  • Truck and Boat - 12,080lbs
  • Boat only - 5,460lbs
Doing some quick math, we get a truck only weight of 6,620lbs with us in it. It may not be perfect, but I then calculated tongue weight by subtracting my 1st scale weight from that calculated truck weight. Tongue weigh is 440lbs. That comes in at 8% of the total boat and trailer weight.

This certainly get's me in the ballpark. The truck with just myself and my friend had 580 lbs of payload left. The trailer is 440lbs. We're missing my 2 kids (175lbs), luggage (200lbs), cooler (100lbs). Then the boat is missing it's gear. Let's just assume another 500lbs for tube, fishing gear, water tank, etc. The result is I have about negative 300lbs of payload left in this above scenario and towing roughly 6,000lbs.

It seems based on payload I'm stuck trying to find a HDPP F150 or a 250. How much of my spirited highway ride can be attributed to my 1.5" level? Is an extra spring in a new truck an option if I can't find an HDPP? Would the HDPP or extra spring make a significant ride difference on the highway? Or is 250 my best option?

At first I thought the suggestions of a 250 were crazy. My scale trip and payload math has me rethinking all this. As many guys as there are recommending there 250, there are guys thinking the 150 is plenty and something must be wrong. But at the end of the day, I'm also over on payload. That had to mean something, no? To make matters worse, the new trucks with some options aren't much better.

Figured I'd post here for some added input. Should I not worry about running at Max payload or above? Does a new 150 have a chance of improving the experience? Should I be thinking 250?
 
  #2  
Old 12-18-2018, 12:57 AM
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I'm a bit partial but I say get an F350 SRW and don't look back. Your half ton is already maxed out meanwhile the Superduty will leave you with room to grow... and then grow some more. If you can afford it, the new Superduty is the best truck money can buy.
 
  #3  
Old 12-18-2018, 01:19 AM
Joe T
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I have/had a loaded out Max Tow 2015 F150 Fx4 5.5 bed. The payload is a good bit higher on the 2015+. Itís 1750 on mine. I sold the truck today actually and am getting a 350 this week for work in my construction company as Iím tired of switching vehicles throughout the week.

Some people buy a super duty to just haul their ego so donít think you are over killing it. I donít know what your daily drive is though.

If you are doing any type of longer commuting Iíd get another F150. Donít lift it though. Immediately throw Bilstein 4600 all around and a hellwig rear sway bar, night and day difference. I wouldnít get aggressive with the tires either unless you need to be off road a lot.

The HDPP isnít available on the Lariat anymore. Primarily the lower end XLT and XL. The only way around that is to order a 6.5 bed super crew max tow, which supposedly gets you the heavier HDPP frame on the 2019 but with 3.5eco/3.55 elocker and not the springs. You can always take the block out of the rear and put an add a leaf in and it would be the same set up as the HDPP uses with 4 leafs.

My F150 drives great, not one complaint.
 
  #4  
Old 12-18-2018, 07:21 AM
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5000 lbs is F150 territory in my opinion.

Get rid of the surge brakes. Have the trailer upgraded to good electric brakes.

If you want, throw a sway control bar on the trailer. And bumping up the tongue weight a touch wouldn't hurt.. Would be nice to see a picture of the boat hooked up to the trailer to see how it's sitting.
 
  #5  
Old 12-18-2018, 07:27 AM
Joemannnnn
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Originally Posted by Xwild View Post
5000 lbs is F150 territory in my opinion.

Get rid of the surge brakes. Have the trailer upgraded to good electric brakes.

If you want, throw a sway control bar on the trailer. And bumping up the tongue weight a touch wouldn't hurt.. Would be nice to see a picture of the boat hooked up to the trailer to see how it's sitting.
So you wouldn't be considered about being above the payload? Am I just being paranoid? Because based on the math, and what I'm seeing in the new trucks, I'll still be over if I get anything with some options.

If a 5.5' bed f150 with shocks and a sway bar will haul well guaranteed, I'd do it. II' likely still be over on payload though.

The boat trailer rides level. I use a hitch with 3-4"of rise. My tongue weight is already at the high end of what most boat trailer manufacturers seem to recommend
 
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:51 AM
jergle
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I towed a 30 foot travel trailer for years with a Ram 1500. It was a bit of a strain, but I felt like it handled it fairly well. I only upgraded to an F250 when my son turned 16, so I was looking for a new truck so I could pass the Dodge down to him. I have to tell you, the first time I towed the camper with the F250, I couldn't believe the difference. It's like night and day. I can run 70 and barely know the camper is back there. The F250 is also my daily driver. Unless you work in a big city with tight parking spaces or something like that, I can't see any downside to going with the super duty over the F150.
 
  #7  
Old 12-18-2018, 08:42 AM
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I have towed boats for decades, and my current 22 foot boat weighs right at 6000 lbs fully loaded. My previous truck was a 2016 Expedition EcoBoost, current truck a 2018 f250 diesel. So similar in size and weight to what you are towing.
Something is not right with your setup. That should be an easy, stable tow. Your tongue weight sounds spot on, and within the capacity of the truck. Payload is always the issue with a 1/2 ton. Thatís why my Expy became an f250. It tows much better than the Expy, but the Expy was good. Just not ďas goodĒ.
And disregard the suggestion to switch to electric trailer brakes. Not on a boat trailer - something about electricity and water...
But ďelectric over hydraulicĒ is a different story, but overkill for a 6000 boat, unless you tow in the mountains.
I would try to dial in your boat first for a better tow. And by all means, get an F250. I will not be going back to a 1/2 ton.
brick
 
  #8  
Old 12-18-2018, 08:44 AM
brick1
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Originally Posted by jergle View Post
I towed a 30 foot travel trailer for years with a Ram 1500. It was a bit of a strain, but I felt like it handled it fairly well. I only upgraded to an F250 when my son turned 16, so I was looking for a new truck so I could pass the Dodge down to him. I have to tell you, the first time I towed the camper with the F250, I couldn't believe the difference. It's like night and day. I can run 70 and barely know the camper is back there. The F250 is also my daily driver. Unless you work in a big city with tight parking spaces or something like that, I can't see any downside to going with the super duty over the F150.
Yup. Traded my 2016 Expy for a 2018 F250 diesel when I purchased a 28 ft Airstream. The Expy was OK towing, while the F250 is awesome. I am not going back...
brick
 
  #9  
Old 12-18-2018, 09:03 AM
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Something isn’t right, wether it’s the leveling kit, surge brakes... your setup is well within the capabilities of an F150. I towed a very similar setup with a ‘17 F150 SCREW, 4x4 Platinum and never had a single white knuckle experience.
 
  #10  
Old 12-18-2018, 09:29 AM
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I have towed bigger boats in the mtns with a Tundra. You are well within the capacity of the F150. I am confused a bit on the payload, you stated you had 580lbs remaining, my guess would have been closer to 1000lbs remaining but I don't know the actual payload of your truck. If you want a 3/4 or 1 ton, by all means go for it, I do not believe it is something that would be required. I may add a sway bar and/or airbags to keep things level. My tundra also had a leveling kit and an extra leaf spring in the back. My payload on that was 1310lbs before the wheels/tires and tonneau cover were added. Ended up going to a 1ton as we required more payload for winter toys.
 
  #11  
Old 12-18-2018, 09:41 AM
Joe T
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Originally Posted by Joemannnnn View Post
So you wouldn't be considered about being above the payload? Am I just being paranoid? Because based on the math, and what I'm seeing in the new trucks, I'll still be over if I get anything with some options.

If a 5.5' bed f150 with shocks and a sway bar will haul well guaranteed, I'd do it. II' likely still be over on payload though.

The boat trailer rides level. I use a hitch with 3-4"of rise. My tongue weight is already at the high end of what most boat trailer manufacturers seem to recommend
How will you be over with a 440lb tongue weight?

440 + 300 payload + 1,100 passenger capacity; using my truck as an example with 1750 payload youíd need some really fat friends.
You wanna buy it? I donít have cash in hand yet.

Shocks and sway bar are a good idea if you tow with the F150. If you are looking new Iíd get a max tow 6.5ft bed as they supposedly come with the heaviest frame.

SuperDuty is cool and tough as nails but they arenít going to drive as nice unless you need payload and longbed.
 
  #12  
Old 12-18-2018, 09:43 AM
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A few things I'd check on the trailer - DO brakes work at all? Perhaps bearing grease got on the brake shoes. Tire pressure, and overloaded/cheap tires. Is trailer bunks/rollers adjusted correctly, so that trailer frame is not flexing. Have someone follow you pulling the trailer, looking for excessive sway, bounce etc. I've seen huge differences between different boat trailer frame stiffness, and translating movement to the tow vehicle. Is your hitch solid? What's the tongue weight? Going to a SuperDuty from anything smaller will make a big difference, I have to doublecheck my mirrors to be sure my ATV trailer is still behind me..
 
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:51 AM
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The longer wheelbase and overall heft of a Super Duty will always lead to a better towing experience. I just sold my 2016 F150 3.5 EB daily driver and 2005 F250 6.8 tow rig and replaced them with a special order F250 6.7 that I am daily driving. I love my new truck. I have a long bed which makes it a bit of a handful in parking lots but I don't mind at all. I loved, loved loved the ecoboost but decided to prioritize the towing experience.
 
  #14  
Old 12-18-2018, 10:06 AM
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I had a 5.4 F150 with a 6000 lb trailer. I switched the 18" Passenger tires (P) to Steel belt radial (E) 80 lbs per sq in (even thought it was only rated for "P" tires. I felt very safe going around bends in the Virginia mountains. Before I would feel the truck swaying slightly on the turns with the P tires. It was an unsafe feeling. The low pressure light wound not come on with the higher pressure tires but I didn't care. I kept the F150 for 4 more years with these tires and I was happy with the arrangement.
 
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:22 AM
RandyinTN
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I tow our 5,000 pound boat all the time with my F150 eco 3.5. Truck does a fantastic job. Would a F250 do it easier? Of course.
Interesting fact, if you are considering a Lariat trim level the price between the F150 and 250 is insignificant. Price them on Fords web site with similar options.
 

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